Sandra Gayer

Sandra was born in Zambia and has been blind almost since birth. She lost her sight when an operation to correct cataracts went wrong and left her with only some light and shape perception in one eye.

As a Braillest and classically trained soprano singer, classical music has been a constant passion running through Sandra’s life.  She has been singing since she was a very young child and spent five years training at The Royal College of Music Junior Department, (RCMJD), in London where she developed her singing and piano skills as well as her ability to read Braille music.

Sandra says her sight loss has been ‘the pencil sharpener of her ambition’, providing an edge to make her want to succeed.

She says one of the main challenges she faces due to her sight loss when performing as a soloist is to ensure she connects with her audience. As she is unable to do this visually, Sandra instead works hard to ensure she creates each character with perfectly choreographed gestures and movements developing that all important connection with the audience.

As well as music, Sandra has always had a love of radio. Whether listening to music – she confesses a love of the Spice Girls when she was younger – or being spellbound by a Radio 3 drama or a Radio 4 documentary, radio simply offered her so many choices.

When the opportunity arose to undertake some training at the RNIB Connect Radio London studio, Sandra’s direction was obvious. “It made perfect sense to combine my twin passions in life.” she says. “ ‘Music Box’ is the result of my desire to bring classical music to as wide an audience as possible. So many people think that classical music is not for them but I want to show them how classical music influences so much of our modern, everyday world and that it can be such an exciting genre.’

Sandra’s enthusiasm is infectious. “People think they have to know about classical music to enjoy it, which simply isn’t true. I wanted to make ‘Music Box’ to demonstrate to people that classical music isn’t an ancient, long forgotten, elitist art form, but a living, breathing musical style which has been responsible for so many different musical disciplines”.

“Classical music is constantly evolving and it can be so exciting. It is everywhere; in movies, adverts, even in lifts. And as it encompasses so many different sounds, it is very hard not to find some melodies you’ll love!”

“I love every minute of presenting the show. In some ways, it is similar to being on stage; the thrill of sharing my passion with my audience and of making that connection”.

Some of Sandra’s main musical influences are singers such as Andrea Bocelli, Maria Callas and Whitney Houston.

As well as her radio broadcasting and classical performances, Sandra has also recorded audio books for Librivox - another experience that she thoroughly enjoyed.